Los Angeles schools vote to cut police, divert funds to "awareness"

The Los Angeles Unified School District wants all of the people in the Black Lives Matter and “abolish the police” movements to know that they’ve heard your voices and they are listening. That’s why this week the LAUSD voted to slash tens of millions of dollars from the L.A. Schools Police Department and eliminate more than 100 officers from its ranks. Rather than paying for law enforcement, the funds will be diverted to programs to better assist Black students, including the Black Student Achievement Plan. During a virtual school board hearing, the board got an earful from some parents who wanted to know who would be responsible for ensuring the safety of the students in the event of a crisis. Not to worry, parents. They had an answer to that question as well. (CBS Los Angeles)

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday voted to cut 133 positions from the L.A. School Police Department, ban the use of pepper spray on students and divert $25 million in funding cut from the department to better support Black students.

During the virtual meeting, the board heard from both supporters and opponents of the move…

“My question to you is, who’s going to take up the role of school safety if you eliminate all of the security guards, your police force, that is there to protect the students,” another attendee said.

The remaining officers of the LASPD will now be barred from carrying pepper spray on the job. This is another strange obsession on the left these days. Everyone wants to ban pepper spray. But the reality out on the streets is that pepper spray is one of the most common tools of non-lethal force available. When violence breaks out, particularly among the older students, if you take away the pepper spray, pretty much everything else the officers have left, ranging from batons to firearms, is going to do a lot more damage.

I suppose this result isn’t quite as bad as it might have been. One activist spoke up during the conference to say, “We demand that the school board invest in Black futures and the way to start that is to defund LASPD in full.”

Defunding “in full” is the same as “abolishing,” so at least there will be some officers left on the job. But the 133 positions that were cut represented more than one third of the entire force. The school Police Department, which was already being described as undermanned and underfunded, will now be left with 211 officers.

As I alluded to above, some of those officers will be replaced, however, but not by armed, trained law enforcement professionals. In their place, some of the previous funding will go toward hiring “climate coaches.” Those individuals will be members from the community who will mentor students, particularly those from the Black community. Nothing seems to have been mentioned about how a “climate coach” is supposed to respond if some aspiring gang bangers decide to gin up some action or a maniacal mass shooter enters the building.

All of this is taking place just as the city is emerging from what the L.A. Times described as “a year like no other for crime in Los Angeles.” There were marked increases in homicides, assaults, robberies, carjackings and several other categories. This has been happening in plenty of American cities, but the LAUSD shouldn’t bury their heads in the sand and pretend that their city is some sort of exception to the rule. And as we’ve seen far too often, when violent crime increases out on the streets, it tends to be mirrored inside the high schools in particular. But this the state of affairs during which the schools decided to get rid of more than a third of their cops and drastically slash the police budget.

Let us know how that works out for you.